Thanks to the American Public Health Association for advocating for walking and bicycling during its annual National Public Health Week this month. Some of the important national data they shared:
- In 2010, more than 4,200 pedestrians died in traffic crashes — a 4 percent increase from 2009.That same year about 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes.
- More than 600 bicyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2010 and 52,000 were injured.
- More than 15 people are killed every day in the U.S. and more than 1,200 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
You can learn more and join their efforts at their website.
The year in jail that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas sentenced Michele Traverso to is far too insignificant for killing Aaron Cohen last year.
We share the outrage of the cycling community and sympathize with the Cohen family for what certainly seems a continuation of this awful tragedy. Aaron Cohen’s death was, unfortunately, one of many on Florida’s roads, as our state was the top-ranked state for bicyclist and pedestrian deaths in 2012, according to the Alliance for Biking and Walking.
Florida should be doing more to protect vulnerable people from this careless violence. The Legislature needs to pass better laws so that police and prosecutors can charge criminals appropriately for such death and injury. Judges should realize that society benefits when dangerous drivers have strong incentives to respect the wellbeing of others. The small risk of getting caught, and small penalties if convicted are out of line with the excess of deaths by motor vehicle and the horrible consequences for victims’ families and all of Florida.
Normal responsible drivers know to keep a safe distance away from bicycles, drive at reasonable speeds, obey signals and signs, and give up the steering wheel when necessary. Irresponsible drivers make it necessary to adopt more specific laws and strong penalties in order to keep us all safe on shared roads.
At the local level, Aaron Cohen’s memory can best be served if we, as a community, join together to improve the safety of our roadways in his honor. By supporting efforts to improve conditions for cyclists, pedestrians, and all users of our roadways with a renewed sense of urgency, we help to diminish the utter senselessness of his death. One important step would be for Miami’s leaders to implement the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, which was created in 2009 but is still far from being a reality. Continue reading
Green Mobility Network has been actively involved in advocating for, monitoring, and supporting the construction of two new bicycle-pedestrian bridges during 2012-13.
The first to open is the bridge across the entrance to the Snapper Creek Expressway just north of Dadeland. Previously, bicyclists, pedestrians, and runners had to cross one of the most dangerous intersections in Miami-Dade County at grade level. The second, which will open early in 2013, crosses the Coral Gables Waterway at Cocoplum Circle. Both of these important projects will help to ensure the safety of future generations of bicyclists, walkers, and runners who use the M Path and the Commodore and Old Cutler trails. Both projects required many hours of our volunteers attending meetings and participating in reviews and discussions—the kind of behind-the-scenes work at the heart of our advocacy efforts.
Photos: Top, Snapper Creek Expressway bridge north of Dadeland soon after opening. Bottom: Bridge at Cocoplum Circle under construction, fall 2012, opening early in 2013.
This Canada-based organization, inspired by urban planner Jane Jacobs, provides a walkability toolkit for assessing how to make neighborhoods more livable.
Guidebook author Sandra Friend runs this lovely site, filled with maps, links and other gimmicks to help lovers of the outdoors find new places to stretch their legs.
This is the Fort Lauderdale-based chapter of the Florida Trail Association.
Promotes non-competitive physical fitness, friendship and fun.
East Coast Greenway Alliance
Aiming to connect all the major cities of the East Coast along a continuous, off-road path, the East Coast Greenway spans 3,000 miles from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida.
Walkable Communities was organized for the express purposes of helping whole communities, whether they are large cities or small towns, or parts of communities, i.e. neighborhoods, business districts, parks, school districts, subdivisions, specific roadway corridors, etc., become more walkable and pedestrian friendly.
The mission of America Walks is to foster the development of community-based pedestrian advocacy groups, to educate the public about the benefits of walking, and, when appropriate, to act as a collective voice for walking advocates.